The president’s recent decision to add a question on citizenship to the upcoming 2020 census has been equated with the rigging of our entire democracy. The census is a constitutionally mandated event, intended to count the population of the country, not only the citizens!
The question “Are you a citizen of the U.S.?” will doubtless cause many immigrants, both legal and illegal, to avoid participating and responding to the census, for fear (quite well founded) that their names will be turned over to ICE, and they may face deportation.
This will lead to a significant under-counting of our population, with many serious consequences for our national life. The census is used for many purposes: to determine housing and health care needs, where more schools will be needed, emergency preparedness needs in specific geographic areas, and migration patterns. Federal funds are distributed to states and local areas determined by census figures. Perhaps most importantly, the census is used for determining congressional representation in each state.
An under-count of the population due to this new question will further oppress vulnerable communities across the country by under-provision of schools, health care, infrastructure, and fair representation in Congress.
Congress has the power to eliminate this census question. Every voter should consider this when evaluating candidates in the mid-term elections. Will our Congressman Scott Tipton step up to ensure this question is NOT part of the census?